Environment Ethics

Paul LePage Instructed Public Employees to Harass Conservationists

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JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Maine governor and Man Who Somehow Got Elected Paul LePage is back in the news again for reasons that, as you might expect, aren’t good.

Governor LePage’s office sent a letter to members of an environmentalist group accusing them of keeping the people of Maine “mired in poverty.

Last week, LePage sent a letter to about 200 Natural Resources Council of Maine members saying the organization supports policies that undermine Maine’s manufacturing base and impede the growth of good-paying jobs. The letter, which followed weeks of LePage statements highly critical of the organization, concludes by saying that “your financial support of NRCM is costing rural Mainers good jobs and keeping them mired in poverty.”

How did LePage acquire the addresses of NRCM members? The governor’s staff combed through public records requested by the governor’s office and compiled a list of donors that he could address the letters to.

A spokesperson for the governor reportedly could not immediately say how much taxpayer money the governor’s staff spent compiling a list of his political enemies.

Why would Governor LePage want to harass a group of conservationists in the first place? Because they’ve opposed the governor’s plan to allow mining operations on pristine public lands. For this reason, among others, LePage has branded the group as “enemies” of the state.

It may go without saying, but opening up mining operations wouldn’t lift anyone out of poverty nor would it boost manufacturing output.

  • Stupid idea on so many levels. Places like Maine get a lot of money from vacationers and tourists, nice steady stream of money that will never dry up. Why mess with that for a mine that probably no one really wants? I mean, if Maine was a motherload state, those mines would have been dug a long time ago and left the ruin behind. I also suspect that mining is no longer a panacea for jobs because the things we make don’t use quite as much as they used to, and because so much is now automated. And mining is like oil drilling is like cotton farming, a few jobs with little potential of expanding the tax base much and enriching a handful of people, hardly the diverse and flexible economy a state like Maine needs.

  • muselet

    Charming.

    –alopecia

  • Victor the Crab

    Seriously, someone needs to grab this chucklefuck by his collar and continue to slap his fat face around, while singing to the beat “Fatty fatty, two by four. Couldn’t get through the bathroom door.” until he cries like a little child. Then, slap him some more.

    • Draxiar

      Chucklefuck…may I use that? It’s a great word!

      • Victor the Crab

        Go right ahead. 🙂

  • Aynwrong

    So the government used public resources to discover the addresses of private citizens who happen to disagree with one of the governor’s policies. Isn’t this the kind of thing that congressional investigations conducted by Republican failed to prove the IRS did to Conservatives?

    • muselet

      But that’s different! Because reasons!

      –alopecia

      • Aynwrong

        Reasons = Obama

        • muselet

          The Rs would never admit such a thing. (Besides, that’s a bit on the nose, don’t you think? :^) )

          –alopecia

          • Aynwrong

            I don’t always do subtle very well.

  • Why can’t they use their built-in conservative bootstraps to pull themselves out of poverty? Why do they need the Governor’s assistance?

    • Draxiar

      You rock the casbah for this comment!

    • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

      The funny thing about “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” is that nobody seems to ever challenge the fact that it is literally an impossibility. The origin of the phrase suggests that it was used as an expression of futility, not do-it-yourself-American-gung-ho-spirit.

      It’s always annoyed me.